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GCN : September 2015
PHOTOCREDITHERE DEFENSE 20 GCN SEPTEMBER 2015 • GCN.COM Lockheed Martin. The second year of the contract was marked by a push for operational convergence, whereby personnel support from overseas net- work centers were brought stateside and consolidated into a single, virtual network operations center supported by staff in Illinois and Hawaii, he said. In the second year, the project team also launched a portal known as the DISA Direct Storefront, through which DOD Common Access Card users from the military services, combatant com- mands, and defense and intelligence agencies can buy network connec- tions, mobile devices and unified communications services. Previously, each military branch acquired network services through its own entity. Kearns said the Direct Storefront offers uniform and precise information regarding cost and the time required to implement a service. GOAL OF A COMMON STACK The Joint Regional Security Stacks initiative being carried out through GSM-O will significantly improve situational awareness by giving the military services and DISA a common view of various aspects of network security, officials said. JRSS is the middle layer, so to speak, of the global data communica- tions network. It handles the network transmissions between the Internet access points and end-user devices. Until now, each military service had its own security stack. The initiative is being undertaken as part of the Joint Information En- vironment, a holistic plan designed to give DOD and the military services secure computing capabilities across the breadth of their vast operations. Centralizing the locally distributed architectures at each base, post, camp and station so that the U.S. military has a common stack across the globe requires two major steps, Kearns said. The first part is a move to Multiprotocol Label Switching to give DOD the requisite bandwidth capability to match the latest tech- nology for managing the flow of net- work traffic. The second part is the installation of new sets of equipment for the sensitive unclassified area and the secret classified area. The first stack of JRSS is al- ready operational at Joint Base San Antonio, Kearns said. Twenty-four Unclassified but Sensitive IP Router Network and 25 Secret IP Router Network stacks are at various stages of installation and configuration worldwide. More than 400 global sites will complete migration to JRSS through 2019, he said. “The security stacks being de- ployed under GSM-O will provide an enterprise-level security boundary and allow us to operationalize our security capabilities and our abili- ties to make this network look more secure,” Showers said. “You can’t make it completely secure, but we will make it a lot more secure than it is today.” “This initiative is a major DOD priority,” he added. “DISA is using GSM-O as a key pillar to ensure that this effort is successful.” BETTER RESPONSE TO NETWORK EVENTS Another initiative is the implementa- tion of software-defined networking. “That’s the next-generational focus we are taking as well,” Kearns said. “It has huge benefits for security, operations and cost efficiencies.” Software-defined networking will make the designated network connections “smart” through the use of software rule sets that will react almost instantly to unforeseen events that cause disruptions. To prepare the Global Information Grid for software-defined networking will require tailoring some data center connections so that they can use ad- vanced architecture, Kearns said. “Event management is one of the big areas that [software-defined net- working] has a benefit to,” he added. When events occur and traffic must be rerouted, the pre-established rule sets take over. “If a certain network path becomes unavailable, the net- work has intelligence coded into it that allows it to reconfigure itself in real time.” • U.S.ARMY The first U.S. facility to install JRSS was Joint Base San Antonio. 0915gcn_018-020.indd 20 9/3/15 2:00 PM